A display provides the symbol options to the person using an aided AAC system. It includes the type of screen or picture that will be used to access vocabulary.
There are several types of displays available:
Fixed: The display is static and does not change when a picture or symbol is selected. A fixed display can be used with no tech, low tech, mid tech or high tech systems. An “example of a static display is the standard keyboard. once the keyboard is designed, the configuration does not change during use. This can be a significant advantage it terms of developing automatic use of the system” (Hill, n.d., Touch Screen Interfaces section, slide 6.9) because it allows the user to most easily develop a motor memory of the system compared to other types of displays.
Dynamic: The display changes when an icon is selected. A dynamic display is used with high tech, computerized devices, and “touch screens offer much flexibility since they can be reconfigured depending on the software” (Hill, n.d., Touch Screen Interfaces section, slide 6.10). Dynamic displays allow for programming of extensive amounts of vocabulary because each page can be embedded into another.
Hybrid: The display has “both a static selection area” (Hill, n.d., Touch Screen Interfaces section, slide 6.11), meaning that the page will remain the same when a symbol is selected, and “a touch screen selection area” (Hill, n.d., Touch Screen Interfaces section, slide 6.11), or one page that will lead to another subpage when a symbol is selected. Having a hybrid display “provides the advantages of both. The static area is typically used for access to high frequency vocabulary and/or spelling” (Hill, n.d., Touch Screen Interfaces section, slide 6.11) and “the touch screen selection area is used to access vocabulary using single meaning pictures, and word prediction” (Hill, n.d., Touch Screen Interfaces section, slide 6.11).
Visual Scene: The display may be fixed or dynamic. Therefore, visual scene displays (VSDs) “may be used to enhance communication on either low-tech boards or high-tech devices. VSDs are designed to provide a high level of contextual support and to enable communication partners to be active and supportive participants in the communication process” (Blackstone, 2005, para. 1-2). In other words, visual scene displays present an entire picture or scene; for example, a school classroom, park, or person. When “used on a low-tech board, the photo provides a shared context for interactants to converse about topics related to the picture. When used on an AAC device, spoken messages can be embedded under related elements [or objects] in the digitized photo. These are known as “hot spots” (Blackstone, 2005, para. 2), and when selected, they lead to another page. For example, if the scene is of a kitchen and the “hot spot” is the refrigerator the embedded page would have different food items listed.